Barely four days after the landmark ruling of the presidential elections case, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has appealed to the Supreme Court with 139 grounds.
Besides the challenge, it has also asked the court to stop the execution of the judgment from the court pending hearing and determination of the Appeal.
This is according to court documents dated 7th February filed by the Attorney General’s Office.
“Let all parties attend before the Honourable Justice/the High Court of Malawi sitting as Constitutional Court in Chambers/Open Court on the day of 2020 at o’clock in the noon on the hearing of an application by the second respondent to an order suspending the enforcement of the judgment herein dated 3rd February, 2020 pending the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the 2nd Respondent”.
A sworn statement from the Commission’s Chairperson Jane Ansah has been included to support the Stay Order application.
She among others argued that the order of fresh elections in the stipulated 150 days may not materialise due to the fact that it requires funding and preparation which may not be possible to attain within the day.
“As a Commission, we are of the view that the election can only be held within at least 261 days on 28th October, 2020 if we operate on an expedited calendar.
“Exhibited hereto and marked JMA1is the calendar for the 21 May, 2019 election and marked JMA2 is the proposed calendar for the fresh Presidential election.
“I verily believe that the statutory periods for procurement and all other necessary exercises would render it impossible for the election to be conducted within 150 days,” says her statement.
She also stated that the court does not have authority to make consequential orders on a Petition brought under section 100 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act.
The challenge follows another one from President Peter Mutharika’s lawyers who are also to file an appeal to the Supreme Court in what was described as a serious subversion of justice, an attack on the democratic system and an attempt to undermine the will of the people.